People in Orissa suffer water woes

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Behrampur (Bhubaneshwar), May 31 : People at Behrampur in Orissa are facing acute water shortage as water bodies have dried up due to intense heat. Scarcity of drinking water has become a critical problem for the people. They solely depend on authorities for water supply.

"We keep standing for water outside our houses in the morning and in the evening. People travel two to four kilometers to get water for drinking. Ponds and wells have dried up," said Ashok Mishra, a resident.

Behrampur has a requirement of 48 million litres of water, but only 34 million litres water is being provided in the region that is not sufficient enough to meet the demand.

Authorities claim that provision has been made to supply water in the region.

"In summers, the wells usually dry up due to which people face some problems. We have nearly 20 tractor tankers and five truck tankers that are distributing water to water scarcity pockets in the region," said Deba Sunder Mohapatra, Executive Engineer, Public Health Department.

Special relief commission fund has granted 17.8 million rupees for drinking water under which old hand pumps and tube wells will be repaired and new ones installed.

Residents lament that government has not started any project worth the name in the area so far to deal with the crisis.

"The Ghatweshwara and Cherigaon project are only in name. There is no project and nothing has been made in Behrampur. People are angry and facing huge crisis in summers. If the problem persists and if they don't find a solution then people will die soon," said Ajay Kumar Panigrahi, President, Behrampur, District Congress.

Blaming the authorities of apathy despite repeated appeals, the residents have demanded immediate action to bail them out of the water crisis.

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